BookIsh Plaza @ Festival di Dande

27 12 2011





Dialogue Between Literature & Genre

27 12 2011


Genre writes to Literature

A ‘private letter’ from popular fiction to its grander relation sweetly casts the two as rivals with a lot in common

I come to this a little late but I come to it with a smile I didn’t think would materialise this gloomy Monday morning. If you’re someone who, like me, gets grumpy about the pointlessness of the arbitrary split between literary fiction and genre, then you need to read SFF author Daniel Abraham’s “private letter from Genre to Literature”. It’s great.

“You were in the dark, plain clothes that you think of as elegant. I have always thought they made you look pale,” says Genre, mournfully, to Literature. “You laugh at me for telling the same stories again and again. I call you boring and joyless.”

 Literature, says Genre, takes Genre’s “most glorious moments” – Ursula LeGuin and Dashiell Hammett, Mary Shelley and Philip K Dick – and claims them for its own. “You say that they ‘transcend genre’. There are no more heartless words than those. You disarm me. You know, I think, that if we were to compare our projects honestly – my best to yours, my mediocrities to yours, our failures lumped together – this division between us would vanish, and so you skim away my cream and mock me for being only milk.”

Read full article @ The Guardian





Out Now! X-mas Issue of BookIsh Plaza Ezine

20 12 2011

Read the Christmas issue of BookIsh Plaza Ezine; the new ezine on (Caribbean) literature, poetry and non fiction books. In this issue we have an interview with the talented young poet Rosabelle Illes, Meet&Greet BookIsh Plaza @ the Festival di Dande december the 30th in Rotterdam, new arrivals, our Season sale and much more.

If you liked our first issue you’ll surely enjoy this one. Do let us know what you think of this new ezine, by sending us an e-mail or subscribe @ info@bookishplaza.com

Check out the ezine here BookIsh Plaza Ezine nr 2, DEC 2011

The BookIsh Plaza Team





Season Sale @ BookIsh Plaza

20 12 2011

CHECK IT OUT @ WWW.BOOKISHPLAZA.COM





Lasana Sekou’s Nativity in “Caribbean Civilization” class at UWI Trinidad

12 12 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 GREAT BAY, St. Martin (December 11, 2011)—The first semester of the 2011-2012 academic year is winding down with exams and book reports. And one student has something to say about one of the books that her class had to study this semester at the University of the West Indies (UWI) in Trinidad & Tobago.
Nativity should be implemented as a text because it illustrates the shaping of Caribbean culture and identity,” said Kelita Stewart recently.
The undergraduate student was talking about Nativity/Nativité/Natividad by Lasana M. Sekou – her experience with the book and exchanges among her classmates.

By Jacqueline Sample

Nativity was utilized in the Course Foun1101 Caribbean Civilisation,” said Dr. John Campbell, the course lecturer at UWI’s St. Augustine campus.
The students were required to read, discuss, and write an end-term paper about the Nativity long poem by the St. Martin writer, studied a tone of the region’s premier institutions of higher learning.
The Caribbean Civilization class is taken by students majoring in disciplines ranging from political science to banking and finance. The course is offered on more than one UWI campus.

Nativity “will allow students to appreciate the evolution of the region out of colonialism which is deeply rooted,” said Stewart, an International Relations (Bsc) major.
To Campbell, himself a scholar, and other proponents of Caribbean Civilization studies such as Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, the field for study stretches from pre-Columbian influences to projecting concepts about the very futures that the peoples of the region are determined to build.

The UWI foundation (Foun1101) course may scratch the vast surface but it gives ambitious insights into an exciting area of study emerging in and about the Caribbean region – and may even include what some are calling the Caribbean Diaspora. (This is probably a new name for George Lamming’s term of the region’s “external frontiers.”)

An epic poem like Nativity maybe Sekou’s attempt at an ambitious poem.
In the nine-strophes of Nativity the poet brazenly draws relationships into and from the region, exposes critical details and references. Not even children’s games, Santo Domingo jumbie names, Chinese immigrants, Indian indentured, or “the battery flesh of Brimstone Hill labor” (page 13)are immune from his “journeying” pen strokes.
Sekou shoots out this “bare” globe-hopping data as verse, as if from the Great Salt Pond, “through barren wilds of fields & foundries” (Nativity, page 1).

“Hopefully the UWI students were exposed to interpreting aspects of the elements that Nativity chronicles, elemental to and generative of the peoples, cultures, histories, politics, geographies, and economies that are forging our Caribbean civilization,” said Sekou.
UWI describes the 3-credit course as one “designed to develop an awareness of the main process of cultural development in Caribbean societies, highlighting the factors, … that have fed the emergence of Caribbean identities. To develop a perception of the Caribbean as wider than island nations or linguistic blocs. To stimulate students’ interest in, and commitment to Caribbean civilization and to further their self-determination.”

So is Nativity, with its English, French, and Spanish versions in the one book, along with its extensive glossary, a fitting poem for such a fundamental course? Canadian researcher and author Afua Cooper seems to think so: “If I were to choose a text to teach the African Diaspora, it would be Nativity because it opens up multiple poetic portals into the vast dimension of Black people and their life story.”

Nativity can be used in courses on poetry, literature, culture, history, anthropology, ethnography, writing, politics, mathematics, religion, romance, performance, dance, architecture, maritime studies, environmental studies, and science.”
“It can also be used as a reference to tell the intersectional global story of Africa, the Americas, Europe, and Asia,” wrote Cooper in her introductionto the trilingual edition of Nativity.

Professor Conrad James used Nativity in 2010, as a required text in his Latin American and Caribbean Studies class at the University of Birmingham, England.
According to James, “Nativity is a quintessentially Caribbean work. It is partly this commitment to understanding the Caribbean in regional rather than narrow national terms, which accounts for the brilliant erudition of the text” by Sekou. 

Buy NATIVITY/NATIVITE/NATIVIDAD @ BOOKISH PLAZA





Books Quito Nicolaas in School Library of Bonaire

10 12 2011

Last week Jacky Bernabela of the SKAL Seccion, Kultura, Arte y Literatura of the Dept. of Culture [Culture, Art & Literature section] presented some books of Aruban born poet/writer Quito Nicolaas, whose family is descended from the island of Bonaire, to Joost Latier, teacher at the secondary school Komunidat di Skol Charles Beukenboom. The books are a present for the school library. The school is very pleased with this gesture of the author. Now the youth of Bonaire will get to know books like Destino [Destiny], Atardi di Antaño [Evenings of Yesteryear], Alameda short stories & the latest by the author Bos pa Planta [Constructing Voices].

These books are available @ BookIsh Plaza





Essays on Caribbean’s most versatile writer

8 12 2011

Lección errante: Mayra Santos Febres y el Caribe contemporáneo. Edited by Nadia V Celis and Juan Pablo Rivera. (San Juan, P.R.: Isla Negra Editores, 2011)

Lección errante: Mayra Santos Febres y el Caribe contemporáneo is the first book of critical essays on Mayra Santos-Febres, one of the Caribbean’s most versatile writers, and arguably the first Latin American Afro-Hispanic literary celebrity. The collection examines the unique poetic universe of Santos-Febres, populated by “wandering” beings such as immigrants, transvestites and sex-workers, whose fictional voices rise up against their long-standing socio-historic marginalization. Lección errante delves into Santos-Febres’ public persona, revealing her as an emblem of a new generation of Latin American writers who shuttle comfortably between fiction, poetry, and the scholarly essay; between printed media and virtual technologies; between the traditionally intellectual arena and the popular culture scene.

Read full article @ Repeating Islands